A voicehearer’s path ~

Buddha and Jesus, the path of Compassion

Comparing the Buddha’s teachings and Y’shua’s is a challenge, only because, though they are saying the same thing, it is often taught differently, as each man was addressing his own culture. One such comparison can be found here.

Here are the views of one who confesses to never having been a Christian, nor studied the teachings, but points out the differences between Christianity as practiced, and Buddhism as practiced. An interesting read.

This, a running thread of comments regarding a question posed during a TED conversation. Here.

One of the things that must be emphasized in a comparison of Buddha’s teachings, and Jesus’ teachings, is that Buddha was not concerned in any way with pleasing any God. He was focused on resolving human suffering and taught a path that would lead to enlightenment, on gaining insight into what would indeed relieve humans of the burden of life as was evident at the time. Y’shua’s emphasis was on pleasing an almighty God, teaching the life one needed to live to do just that. The amazing thing for me was to find that, from two diametrically opposed viewpoints in life, these two men taught amazingly similar paths. The emphasis of Buddha’s teachings was practice. If you read the four gospels with the query in mind, “What would Jesus have me do?” You will find that, there, in those four gospels, hidden among the agendas that were extant in the minds of the authors of those gospels, was very much a similar set of goals, i.e. practice.

Both Jesus and Buddha issued moral commandments that prohibited killing, stealing, adultery, false witness, and coveting. Both emphasized the same moral themes: advocate peace, not war; avoid the corruption of wealth; help the poor; abolish slavery and caste systems; abandon self and selfishness; and love your neighbor, even your enemy. Many statements by Jesus resembled those by Buddha, as presented below.

JESUS: “A foolish man, which built his house on sand.”
BUDDHA: “Perishable is a city built on sand.” (30)
JESUS: “Therefore confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed.”
BUDDHA: “Confess before the world the sins you have committed.” (31)
JESUS: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the foregiveness of sins.”
BUDDHA: “Let all sins that were committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be delivered.” (32)
JESUS: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
BUDDHA: “Consider others as yourself.” (33)
JESUS: “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.”
BUDDHA: “If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon all desires and utter no evil words.” (34)
JESUS: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”
BUDDHA: “Hatreds do not cease in this world by hating, but by love: this is an eternal truth. Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good.” (35)
JESUS: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
BUDDHA: “Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world.” (36)
JESUS: “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”
BUDDHA: “Do not look at the faults of others or what others have done or not done; observe what you yourself have done and have not done.” (37)
JESUS: “You father in heaven makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”
BUDDHA: “The light of the sun and the moon illuminates the whole world, both him who does well and him who does ill, both him who stands high and him who stands low.” (38)
JESUS: “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”
BUDDHA: “The avaricious do not go to heaven, the foolish do not extol charity. The wise one, however, rejoicing in charity, becomes thereby happy in the beyond.” (39)

Buddha taught the eightfold path of Enlightenment;

The Path

1. * Samma-Ditthi — Complete or Perfect Vision, also translated as right view or understanding. Vision of the nature of reality and the path of transformation.

2. Samma-Sankappa — Perfected Emotion or Aspiration, also translated as right thought or attitude. Liberating emotional intelligence in your life and acting from love and compassion. An informed heart and feeling mind that are free to practice letting go.

3. Samma-Vaca — Perfected or whole Speech. Also called right speech. Clear, truthful, uplifting and non-harmful communication.

4. Samma-Kammanta — Integral Action. Also called right action. An ethical foundation for life based on the principle of non-exploitation of oneself and others. The five precepts.

5. Samma-Ajiva — Proper Livelihood. Also called right livelihood. This is a livelihood based on correct action the ethical principal of non-exploitation. The basis of an Ideal society.

6. Samma-VayamaComplete or Full Effort, Energy or Vitality. Also called right effort or diligence. Consciously directing our life energy to the transformative path of creative and healing action that fosters wholeness. Conscious evolution.

7. Samma-SatiComplete or Thorough Awareness. Also called “right mindfulness”. Developing awareness, “if you hold yourself dear watch yourself well”. Levels of Awareness and mindfulness – of things, oneself, feelings, thought, people and Reality.

8. Samma-Samadhi — Full, Integral or Holistic Samadhi. This is often translated as concentration, meditation, absorption or one-pointedness of mind. None of these translations is adequate. Samadhi literally means to be fixed, absorbed in or established at one point, thus the first level of meaning is concentration when the mind is fixed on a single object. The second level of meaning goes further and represents the establishment, not just of the mind, but also of the whole being in various levels or modes of consciousness and awareness. This is Samadhi in the sense of enlightenment or Buddhahood.

* The word Samma means ‘proper’, ‘whole’, ‘thorough’, ‘integral’, ‘complete’, and ‘perfect’ – related to English ‘summit’ – It does not necessarily mean ‘right’, as opposed to ‘wrong’. However it is often translated as “right” which can send a less than accurate message. For instance the opposite of ‘Right Awareness’ is not necessarily ‘Wrong Awareness’. It may simply be incomplete. Use of the word ‘right’ may make for a neat or consistent list of qualities in translations. The down side is that it can give the impression that the Path is a narrow and moralistic approach to the spiritual life. I use variant interpretations so you consider the depth of meanings. What do these things mean in your life right now?

Jesus taught the Blessing Way:

  • Blessed are those who base their lives in the luminosity of Spirit; theirs shall be the ability to bear edible fruit.
  • Blessed are those who long from deep within themselves (to enter the “kingdom”,) they shall be united inside by Love.

Words in parentheses are mine, so substitute if you need to there .

  • Blessed are those who surrender their will to the One; they shall be empowered.
  • Blessed are those who watch by night, longing with a deep hunger and thirst for true rightness both within and without; they shall be surrounded by the edible fruit with which to satisfy that hunger.
  • Blessed are those who from their inner depths extend the loving compassion that warms the heart and nurtures the soul; Mercy and compassion shall be theirs.
  • Blessed are those who seek consistently to follow the way of the heart; their inner eyes shall be opened, they shall truly see the One.
  • Blessed are the bearers of edible fruit; through them God’s nourishment will flow to others.
  • Blessed are they which, in the pursuit of fruit bearing, experience domination, disjointedness, and even scandal for my sake; The Holy One whose name reverberates throughout the Universe shall nurture them..
  • Blessings when your strength is tapped out , and others would lay on you the burden of their own shortcomings; Rejoice, it is time, step out of your shell, expand! Become as the wind or the rays of the sun. Drink deeply of Spirit. Let your ego dissipate in your knowledge of the Heavenly realms.
  • You are not the first; you will not be the last.

This is a translation by Neil Douglas-Klotz from the Aramaic of the passage known as the Beatitudes, when translated in this fashion, it is easier to compare the teachings, and to see the similar aims and goals of both teachers. The wide variance between the practice of Christianity, and the teacher’s stated goals makes it difficult to compare the Buddha’s teachings with his, but the similarities are there, if you will look for them. Don’t be fooled by the Jesus plus nothing teachers of today, Jesus (Y’shua) was not attempting to establish a new religion, he was trying to bring the Jewish faith into a personal awareness of the love and compassion of God, emphasizing practice, not ritual. Buddha’s emphasis was practice, not ritual. From that standpoint they taught the same path.

Comments on: "Buddha and Jesus, the path of Compassion" (6)

  1. Thank you for this enlightening dharma.
    _/\_ gassho, Rev. Daito Thompson. http://www.aspengold.org

  2. Intriguing post. Positive that I’ll come back here. First-class function.

  3. An informative and well developed comparrison of our greatest teachers

  4. […] Buddha and Jesus, the path of Compassion […]

  5. […] Buddha and Jesus, the path of Compassion […]

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